II TIMOTHY 8
EQUIPMENT FOR THE MAN OF GOD
As a minister for the past seventy-three years, I have often been referred to as “a man of God”. It is difficult to respond to this, because every Christian should be “a man of God”. But, being a member of the Clergy does not make me “a man of God”. The habit of looking up to men who are in the Clergy, as if they were especially holy, is very disturbing to me. No man should be revered in a worshipful way, ever. Only God is due our reverence. Peter, the Apostle, would not let Cornelius bow down to him. He said, “I am only a man”. However, every Christian should recognize his responsibility to be “a man of God”. Paul says the Inspired Scriptures will make the man of God complete and equipped for every good work. This is not just for preachers or clergymen.
I have long insisted that we should spend more time reading and thinking about the Bible. It is the source of power we need to use to really be a Christian. Christian means follower of Jesus Christ. In this passage Paul says the Scripture is profitable for “doctrine”. In the original language this word really means teaching. Of course, what it teaches is Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a system, it is a person. We do not follow a set of rules, we imitate a person. He is not a historical figure. He is a present companion. At the end of His earthly life, He said to His disciples, “I will be with you always”. If
you want to be His disciple today, the promise is to you. So it is
vital for us to study the sacred writings, for there we meet the person of Jesus Christ. That is what the “doctrine” is. It is the life of Christ.
Paul told Timothy that the scriptures would give him the wisdom that would lead to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament Scriptures, which had been taught to Timothy
all his growing years, did two things for man. First, they gave him the Law of God, to keep the earthman in check and prevent him from straying too far from the path of righteousness. Second, they gave him the promise, and laid the foundation for the coming of Jesus Christ, the bearer of God’s message of hope for mankind. This is why Paul told Timothy to remain loyal to them, for these scriptures would give him the wisdom that would lead to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
In addition to doctrine, or teaching, Paul says the Inspired Scriptures are profitable for “correction of error and training in righteousness, to make the man of God complete and equipped for every good work”. We must not be just proclaimers of the Christian faith. We must be people who live as if we were walking with Christ every day of our lives. At one point, Paul worried that while he preached to others, he himself might be a castaway. I seriously
doubt he needed to worry, but the point is well taken. Speaking the Word is important, but living it is essential.
The only power that can help us to defeat the powers of evil that surround us in the present world is the Word of God. It was the power that created all things, and it is the power which can enable you to truly be His disciple and enjoy His presence in your life. Spend much time with your Bible. With it in hand you are in the presence of God, and He will supply you with the power to be His. It is the only way we can overcome the temptations that face us every day, and it is the only assurance we have that He will forgive us when we fail.